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Stephen Rixon

Creative Lead

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  • LevelSenior
  • LocationHaddenham, Aylesbury, United Kingdom
  • AvailabilityLocked Pro Plan feature
  • ProfessionsMarketer - Graphic Designer - Art Director


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About me

Only one thing really matters to me. Quality storytelling. Everything else flows from it, understanding our audiences, casting the business in the best possible light and consequently, commercial success. Of course, if you already have a great story to tell the challenge develops into one of exploring how best to refine the story to keep the audience you have and build upon it. I have an in-depth understanding of both rational and non-rational purchase decisions. The latter of which have come to encompass even finance and investment decisions, as well as those more traditionally associated with emotional decision-making. The creation of emotional resonance and conveying how it feels (either on, in or to own) are the keys to success. Photography and moving image contribute to this immensely, it’s often the difference between a picture of a steak and how a steak tastes, and conveying the latter is where the real treasure is to be found. Having been responsible for producing (often at pace) and evaluating creative for some time, I can spot something incongruous at about 50 paces. Be that logo positioning, a rogue thread, something off-centre in the background of a shot, or an inaccurate graph and I also have bags of experience at taking existing brands forward, including navigating often subtle differences in geographic sensibilities, without messing about with what made them what they are in the first place. I have highly-developed project management skills and have frequently driven multiple projects to delivery simultaneously.

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  • Advertising
  • Events
  • Film
  • Print Design
  • Art Direction
  • Design
  • Creative Direction
  • Print Campaigns
  • Indesign
  • Photoshop

Work history


Lead Creative


Dec 2015
  • Freelance
  • I have been working for my own clients on a broad mix of creative and strategy work, ranging from marketing literature development for a tech firm and some commercial property pitch work to strategy and art direction for a restaurant chain re-brand. I recently spent a few months at Standard Chartered Bank helping their Group Planning and Analytics make sense of their massive data sets and both devising and delivering a training programme aimed at shifting their mind-set to a more graphically rich storytelling approach to data. I am currently helping a film and TV financier run their marketing on a consultancy basis and working on the launch of teacher recruitment firm.


Head of Creative

Knight Frank

Aug 2011 - Nov 2015
  • Full Time
  • Hired to elevate both creative quality and effectiveness, as global brand guardian, I led a mid-sized team and freelancers. Creating and driving the marketing on pieces as varied as globally delivered films, high-quality publications and short-run invitations through both traditional and digital channels. I briefed and managed numerous agency providers in the delivery of 1,000s of print ads, films and on and offline publications. I developed brand storytelling, defining and refining the story before moving on to explorations of routes for graphic, written and moving image articulation through all channels. I held numerous sessions on best-in-class presentation techniques prior to large client or internal events, resulting in a firm-wide redefinition of what constitutes compelling and engaging delivery. I also devised and created a brand positioning review including the creation and roll-out of new global guidelines. Successfully navigating an often complex partnership structure, I drove significant improvements in both the visual and written quality of the Firm’s marketing and advertising by increasing audience resonance, with special emphasis upon print, photography and moving image.


Senior Designer

Octopus Investments

May 2010 - Aug 2011
  • Full Time
  • I had a wide-ranging role which encompassed art-direction, pitching, design and typography for all printed and digital materials: press advertising; brochures; sales aids and numerous other pieces. I provided brand-related guidance for the company (both internally and externally) and helped to deliver a comprehensive visual identity re-brand, including the development of full brand guidelines. Amongst other responsibilities, I briefed and managed all external agencies and dealt with printers. Octopus is a fast-paced environment, that demands, creativity, speed and close attention to detail.


Senior Designer


Feb 2010 - May 2010
  • Freelance
  • was primarily engaged to undertake the Sky Ride project. This involved conceptual and creative development of event branding of a number of towns and cities which were hosting Sky Ride events over the course of 2010. This included; 96, 48 and 6 sheet posters, press advertising (local and national), providing visuals for digital development and numerous other collateral pieces such as brand guidelines and clothing design for the racing team.


Senior Designer & Art Director


Nov 2009 - Feb 2010
  • Freelance
  • Working freelance through a number of agencies and for my own clients.


Senior Designer


Jan 2006 - Oct 2009
  • Full Time
  • As the senior creative at our studio in London, I was responsible for conducting client relations on behalf of the design team, carried my own workload and provided art-direction and brand-related guidance to the rest of the team. I created a large amount of press advertising, direct mail, associated marketing campaigns and other collateral pieces for the Corporate, Commercial, Insurance and Global Transaction Banking divisions of HSBC. These have included; art-direction and design for two quarterly magazines and numerous HSBC sub-branding project I also art-directed brochures for HSBC’s annual Education Africa Awards.


Designer & Art Director


Jul 2004 - Jan 2006
  • Freelance
  • Working freelance on a number of visual identity and marketing projects for legacy clients and also for several high-profile advertising and PR agencies. Including Publicis (Comma), where I worked on the following accounts: Armani Mania, Manpower and Rail Europe; Weber Shandwick Worldwide on the MasterCard account and at Walsh Trott Chick Smith (now CST Advertising) on their Independent, Sainsbury’s Bank, COI and Daihatsu accounts. Other agencies included: Minerva London (AMV-BBDO), on projects for: Dolmio, Tiger Beer and Sainsbury’s; Publicis Blueprint where I worked on Toyota Aygo; Fallon London working on a telecomms pitch and several stints at Partners Andrews Aldridge, designing pieces for Sky TV, Lloyds TSB and Vodafone. I also completed multiple spells at VCCP, working on their 02 and Dyson accounts.


Art Director

Halifax Bank of Scotland

Jul 2000 - Jul 2004
  • Full Time
  • I led and was responsible for a small design team working on a large number of direct mail, print advertising and marketing projects for co-branded business to consumer financial products. This included art-direction and design for through the line advertising and pitch work for a diverse client base, which included Arsenal FC and other Premiership football clubs; charities such as the NSPCC and CRUK; several global brands such as Harley-Davidson, Mercedes-Benz, Vodafone and the Marriott Hotel Group. Other work included: art-direction for large format exhibition materials and photo shoots.


Senior Designer


Apr 2000 - Jun 2000
  • Freelance
  • Artisan is a small agency based north west of London. I was responsible for overall art-direction of the studio including: concept, design and execution of corporate Identity projects, national and regional advertising, training and supervision of staff (two plus freelance) and studio traffic.



The Qwerty Group

Feb 1999 - Apr 2000
  • Full Time
  • Qwerty is a full service agency near Reading. During my time there I completed a large number of projects, including various corporate identity and development of identity through literature and advertising. I produced numerous packaging and POS pieces for Walkers Snack Foods and brochures, advertising and literature for the Cabinet Office and various other NGOs.